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Bitcoin (BTC) Can Have Its Own Rollups - Or No?

Mon, 03/06/2023 - 13:17
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Vladislav Sopov
Bitcoin (BTC) can serve as data availability layer for rollups, new research says, here's why Ethereum (ETH) community is very pessimistic about this opportunity
Bitcoin (BTC) Can Have Its Own Rollups - Or No?
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Rollkit, a modular framework for rollups, shares the design of a concept that employs the functionality of Taproot to use Bitcoin (BTC) as a data availability layer for rollups. Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) investors are sure that the largest blockchain can be leveraged in ZK-powered networks in a more productive way.

Rollups can use Bitcoin (BTC) for data availability, Rollkit releases demo

According to a statement shared by Rollkit, it has finished the "research implementation" of rollups infrastructure that uses Bitcoin (BTC) for data availability. The platform released Bitcoin DA package written in Go; via Taproot transactions, it can read and write data on Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.

With this instrument, two functions of Bitcoin (BTC) codebase, SubmitBlock and RetrieveBlocks, can be used to publish data to Bitcoin (BTC) and recover it. The platform is blockchain-agnostic by design; it is compatible with all major execution layers (virtual machines), including the likes of EVM, CosmWasm as well as Cosmos SDK.

The team of Rollkit published a demo version of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) running on the top of Bitcoin (BTC). In the demo, EVM becomes fully functional on the top of the "local" Bitcoin (BTC) testnet as a "sovereign rollup."

Such a release might be a game changer in terms of the availability and resource efficiency of new blockchains; sovereign chains will retain the security and decentralization of their L1s.

No "sovereign rollups" on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) investor Ryan Berckmans says

Ethereum (ETH) investor, educator and community enthusiast Ryan Berckmans recommended that Rollkit avoid calling its product a rollup. Thanks to its technical design, it cannot be promoted as an L2, he stressed:

A 'sovereign rollup on Bitcoin' is actually an alt L1 that stores its block data on Bitcoin. It's not a real rollup or a real L2. In my opinion, the best way for us to fight back against these lies is to build an Ethereum zk L2 that puts its data on Bitcoin.

Should this "real" ZK-powered second-layer solution on Bitcoin (BTC) be activated, the entire Bitcoin (BTC) network would be able to onboard a "small part" of Ethereum's L2 ecosystem. At the same time, it would be a good "appetizer" before the much-anticipated "flippening."

For years, developers are introducing various scaling designs that would introduce Bitcoin (BTC) to the L2 ecosystem: Lighting Network payment channels, Stacks and Rootstock smart contracts platforms and so on.

By press time, over $6.21 billion in equivalent is locked in Ethereum's L2 ecosystem.

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About the author

Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 6+ years in IT-analytics, 3+ years in blockchain.

Worked in independent analysis as well as in start-ups (, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)